The Olympic Spa Hotel in Val di Fassa, northern Italy, has a new extension designed by NOA with sustainability in mind. The goal was to seamlessly integrate the facilities with the surrounding landscape. The new rooms, set in an Alpine meadow, feature terraces, and internal patios. The sauna, which overlooks the forest and is accessed via an aerial path, is a particularly unique feature. The project’s design blends in with the mountainous surroundings, providing guests with an authentic connection to nature. Further details can be found below the following images shot by photographer Alexander Filz.

Olympic Spa Hotel Extension in Val di Fassa, Italy by NOA
Olympic Spa Hotel Extension in Val di Fassa, Italy by NOA

The Olympic Spa Hotel in Vigo di Fassa has a long history of hospitality dating back to 1963. Recently, the hotel embarked on a project to expand its premises, adding new spaces and functions while maintaining harmony with the natural landscape. NOA was tasked with creating a sustainable and “mimetic” design for the hotel’s new annex and sauna, allowing for an even more exciting immersion in the stunning Dolomite scenery.

The main concept behind NOA’s hotel design was to move the focal point of the building away from the busy provincial road, which previously dominated the view from most of the rooms, and towards the slope behind it. This slope gradually descends into a forest, eventually leading to the Avisio stream. To achieve this, the project involved constructing ten new rooms along the slope, partially buried and connected to the main hotel through an underground passageway. Additionally, a separate wooden sauna building was built on the forest’s edge, offering an elevated view of the treetops and accessible through an atmospheric aerial pathway. The design prioritizes a direct connection with nature, emphasized by the materials used, the façade’s design that blends with the mountain skyline, the terraces, and the interior patios of the larger rooms.

The newly constructed building boasts ten rooms and a gym, featuring a unique profile inspired by the contour of a mountain. One end boasts a higher spike, representing the double-level suite, while the roof slopes down with smaller spikes indicating the single-level rooms. The other end houses the fitness studio. This simple yet distinguishable shape is set to become the architectural signature of the hotel. The choice of materials for the sloping pitches and external walls, plastered in a grey color reminiscent of the Dolomite rocks, pays homage to the surrounding landscape. The building’s design is mimetic, utilizing forms and materials that blend with the environment. Sustainable thinking is also evident, as the project was carried out with local firms, and the structure is partially buried to minimize the volume.

The hotel extension provides guests with an immersive experience in nature by partially burying the volume. Access to the annex is through an underground path that leads to rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and a spacious terrace that overlooks the picturesque landscape. The four rooms, named in the Ladin language, pay tribute to the forest, a significant source of inspiration for interior design. Each room features an internal patio with transparent walls, creating a private space that brings in natural light and the beauty of the outdoors all year round. The patio’s vegetation, the presence of a birch tree, and the view of the sky all contribute to a unique hotel experience. Guests can enjoy an outdoor shower and visualize themselves in a lush forest or witness the snowfall from both sides of the room in winter. In the summer, they can sleep on suspended beds with double sleeping bags and gaze at the starry sky with minimal light pollution.

In the five “Te Aga” rooms, which are devoted to the element of water, guests can enjoy a stone fountain that pours fresh mountain water from a spring located at 3,500 meters. This eco-friendly feature eliminates the need for plastic bottles. The hotel utilizes oak and larch from the Fassa Valley for both the flooring and furnishings. Additionally, the building boasts a two-level suite at the highest point of the façade. The sleeping area on the ground floor is lowered by three steps to create a cozy atmosphere, while the first floor is dedicated to relaxation, featuring a sauna, emotional shower, and wellness area that overlooks the forest from the characteristic double-pitched attic.

The recently constructed sauna provides a unique experience with a picturesque view of the surrounding tree canopies. The structure is entirely crafted from wood, with an exterior of larch and an interior of spruce, treated with black wax. This design seamlessly blends the sauna into the natural forest environment. Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the interior windows or the side terrace. To reach the sauna, guests can take an aerial walkway directly from the hotel, leaving the meadow below unobstructed. Despite the winter weather, visitors can only access the sauna from outside. This decision aims to encourage a strong and direct connection with nature, consistent with the hotel’s values. Additionally, the meadow below hosts the annual ‘Marcialonga,’ a renowned cross-country skiing event.

All images © by NOA and Alexander Filz. Do not hesitate to find more architecture and interior design projects from all over the world on WE AND THE COLOR.